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Solaris Yachts Around the Island Race at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

by RHKYC Media 24 Nov 2019 04:16 PST 24 November 2019
Solaris Yachts Around the Island Race © RHKYC / Vivian Ngan

Over 200 boats turned up for the 26nm Solaris Yachts Around the Island Race under a perfect blue sky.

Given the sheer number of boats, Race Officer David Norton set two start lines off of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Kellett Island Clubhouse with the line closest to Kellett Island used for starting the one design boats and the outside line for HKPN, IRC and beach cat divisions.

The first start was at 0830hrs with the Pandoras and HKPN Monohulls setting off in a easterly breeze of around 4 to 7kts and the last division to set off was the only fast fleet boat Jelik at 1030hrs. All starts got away cleanly except for a few scoring OSCs including a 29er, a Dragon, an Impala, a J/80 and an Etchells.

The biggest yacht in the fleet was Frank Pong's 72ftJelik and the smallest was the only single handed entry RS Aero skipper by Giles Surman.

Two 420s led the fleet out of Lei Yu Mun Gap and were the first boats to round Cape D'Aguillar. As the entire fleet made their around Stanley head, it was a colourful sight to behold with hundreds of kites on the horizon.

Casey Law's 29er took the lead towards Ap Lei Chau until he was overtaken by the big boats at Cyberport. For the front fleet, they passed by Green Island and were greeted by some solid wind and strong tide in the harbour. Marcel Liedts' Zannekin took line honours followed by Robert Wiest, Victor Kuk and David Ho's Phoenix and Shawn Kang's Alpha +.

Zannekin's skipper, Steven Corrigan said his team did a excellent job today "the crews work really hard. When we got through Stanley gate there were still six boats ahead, but we managed to catch up. Usually tthere's a bit of drama at Cyberport but we get through ok. The wind was flipping around in strength and direction but we just kept working hard and kept the boat moving. " The first Class boat to finish was Amanda Chen's F.A.B from the Sportboat class.

Unfortunately the wind softened in the afternoon and a wind hole developed around Middle Island. The majority of the fleet were sailing slowly downwind at the southern side of Hong Kong Island and in the end one third of the participating yachts could not reach Kellett Island before the cut-off of 1700hrs with Big Boat Blu being the last boat to cross the line to get a finish.

The prize-giving will be held on Monday on Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's rooftop with views of the harbour that was filled to the brim with sails earlier today.

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